Sweetest taboo? Exploring erotic expression and gratification on WhatsApp
Mobile Instant Messengers (MIM) applications like Whatsapp are one of the revolutionary impacts technology has had on communication. Given its popularity and versatility, the researchers explored erotic expression and gratification as group phenomena on Whatsapp. Mixed methodology was adopted and over the course of sixty days, the non-participant observation method was used to study several closed erotic chat groups till data saturation was reached at the twenty-seventh group. A total of 4,862 participants from 101 countries populated the 27 groups; participants’ countries were determined by verifying their international dialing code prefix in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) database and three other databases for countries with +1 (followed by three digits in brackets) because the ITU was not clear on those. In addition to finding that males were most active and demanding in the facilitation and exchange of erotic artifacts, 909 artifacts categorised into seven classes were used in their transactions. Finally, a conceptual model that explains the nature of erotic chats on Whatsapp is provided.
Keywords: MIM, Whatsapp, Erotic, Chat, Smartphones